June 15, 2023
Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John’s,
St. John the Baptist is experiencing incredible growth in our school and in many of our programs and activities. This coming fall our kindergarten has a waiting list, the first time in 15 years! As you can see from the posters in St. Paul Plaza, we have lived out our core values with commitment and dedication, sharing the joy of our faith thanks to a strong and vibrant community.
The wonderful support and participation of so many parishioners is encouraging and calls us forth to study not only short-term needs but also consider long-range improvements that will keep our parish and school strong in the decades ahead. Therefore, we will be gathering input in the coming weeks as we consider several important projects including:
- Repairing and improving the interior of our church
- Repairing and updating school facilities
- Resurfacing the east parking lot
- Establishing an endowment fund for school operations
Before we can move forward, we need your feedback. Starting July 5, we will begin a comprehensive survey of our entire parish community. We will also share more details about the projects above and the possibility of a fundraising effort to pay for all, or some, of these church and school improvements.
More information will be coming soon!
As the Father loves me so I also love you,
Father Paul Shovelain
The American tradition of celebrating Father’s Day is a noble day to celebrate. While the civil holiday as we know it does not share direct ties to our liturgical calendar, commemorating the vocation of fatherhood has significant roots in Christian Europe dating back to the Middle Ages where it was celebrated in the light of Saint Joseph’s feast day. I would argue that in today’s culture that is increasingly detaching itself from being built upon the foundation of the family, the importance of prayerfully honoring Father’s Day is more important than ever.
In my own life my father played a role in teaching me about the Christian faith, holding me accountable to becoming a responsible adult, and modeled for me the importance of lending a hand in service. I also lost my father in my mid 20’s. On one hand this was a great loss, but on the other hand God knew what I needed and connected me to a virtuous and holy man who was my pastor at the time. In essence, he became a spiritual father to me and spoke life into dark places of my life that I never thought could be redeemed and healed. In many ways, it helped me better see the order of divine fatherhood from God’s closeness and tender care for the people God adopts by filial adoption. As scripture says, “I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord almighty” (2 Cor 6:18).
We know that God transcends the fallible human distinction of fatherhood, but the language of our faith draws on the lived human experience in order to call us forth to live in a radically fruitful and joy-filled way. As we honor fathers and father figures who have impacted our lives, let us pray for and build up these men to become courageous imitators of God’s filial love, mercy, and sacrificial living.
May God’s grace and peace abound,
Deacon Derek Gilde
SJB Summer Deacon